Angry New Yorker

Friday, July 09, 2004
[Ed. note - We've viewed the steady encroachment of gambling -- not "gaming" -- spreading across the country like kudzu-gone-wild with dismay. Not long ago gambling was considered a serious vice to be cracked down upon. While the occasional bet poses no problem, the reliance of significant portions of state budgets on gambling revenues is nothing less than a betrayal of good government, and a path of least resistance legislation.]

Albany -- Court decision backs expansion of casinos in state, but puts future of VLTs in doubt

First published: Thursday, July 8, 2004

"In a decision with no clear winner, a mid-level state appeals court Wednesday upheld much of New York's huge expansion of gambling but deemed a portion of the law authorizing video lottery terminals unconstitutional.

"Officials said the four so-called racetrack "racinos" with VLTs in New York will stay open despite the decision, because appeals to the state's highest court are expected.

"But the future of the VLTs -- and their millions of dollars in much-needed state revenue -- remains uncertain.

"In a 5-0 ruling, the Appellate Division [,Third Department,] of state Supreme Court handed a partial victory to VLT supporters. The decision, written by Justice Thomas Mercure, said VLTs are not slot machines and are therefore allowed under the state Constitution. [The decision is Karr v. Pataki]

"However, the court said, the statute giving some of the VLT revenue to breeding funds and racetrack purses violates a constitutional mandate that all lottery money must support education. That makes the entire section of the law dealing with VLTs illegal, according to the court."

Read the entire thing here.

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